Zipper Top Tote – Free Bag Pattern

Zipper Top Tote – Free Bag Pattern


zipper top tote

This pattern isn’t for beginners.  I’m calling this an Intermediate pattern and as such, it comes with regular pattern-style instructions rather than the full step-by-step tutorial you might find with beginner patterns.  So some previous experience in sewing bags before and an understanding of construction would be useful for this project.

But it’s well worth it – this is a great bag.  Previously my husband told me my Expanding Nautical Tote Bag was the best bag I’d ever made, but now he says he thinks this one is even better – looks like it was from a ‘nice shop’ he said.  Praise indeed!

zipper top tote

Sadly I had a bit of an interfacing issue and my interfacing came away in parts when I turned my bag, giving it a bit of a crumpled and bubbly look, but I can live with it.  When I get more supplies, I’ll make this one again, maybe in a stripe!

The Zipper Top Tote

Features:

  • Full-length top zipper as a feature
  • Two front slip pockets with twist locks
  • One full-width outside zipper pocket on the back
  • Ready-made handles
  • Zipper pocket and slip pocket inside
  • Finished bag measures about 12 inches wide by 15 tall, plus handles.
Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Materials needed (to make one the same size as mine):

  • Outer fabric – 1/2 yard  ( I used an organic cotton twill from Fabric Mart)
  • Lining / contrast fabric – a bit less than 1 yard
  • Two small twist locks
  • Ready-made handles
  • Top zipper – 16 inches
  • Back zipper – 12 inches
  • Internal zipper – 6 inches (suggested)
  • Dangles – cute pink flower dangles – optional
  • The pattern download

I used materials that are all available from Amazon.

Fabric Suggestions from Amazon.com

Pattern Download

We’re going to continue to use the Payhip webstore to distribute our patterns.

Our patterns are still free, but now you now have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We’d really appreciate it and it will help us keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two really goes a long way.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us out.  You can use any credit card and you don’t need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.

Pattern Download HERE

Instructions on how to make the Zipper Top Tote Bag

Full step-by-step and photo instructions are included with the download PDF file.  Abbreviated instructions and small photos are included here so you can see if the pattern is for you.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Cut and interface all of your pieces.  Assemble the outer front pocket by stitching the pocket lining to the top edge of the pocket.  Turn and press.

Line up the pocket on the outer of the bag and pin in place.  Draw a line with a disappearing pen down the center of the pocket top to bottom, and stitch through all layers, reinforcing the stitching at the top.  Install the twist-lock hardware.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Assemble the back of the bag.  Take your lower back piece and the zipper.  Center the zipper at the top edge with the right side of the zipper facing the right side of the fabric.  Add the pocket lining on the top, face down.  Match up all raw edges and stitch with your zipper foot.  Press and topstitch.

Take the upper back piece and match it right sides together at the other side of the zipper.  Bring the bottom of the pocket lining up to match to the raw edges and stitch through all layers.  Press the lining towards the bottom and topstitch along the top of the zipper.

http://wp.me/p2WfGc-2W1

Assemble the lining.  Match the facing at the top of each lining piece, pin, and stitch. Press the seam between the two and topstitch.  Check the length of the lining pieces to the outer pieces and trim if necessary.

Inside pockets.  Add a pocket or pockets of your choice to the lining of the bag now.  You can read here how you can add the perfect slip pocket, or how to add in an internal zipper pocket.  I’m adding a zip pocket to my bag on one side and a small slip pocket on the other side for my phone, keys, and pen.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Add in any handles and decorative studs or hardware at this point.  I used ready-made handles.  To place them, turn over ½ inch at the top of your fabric to check for placement.  Make sure the handles are level and equal on both pieces, front, and back.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Prepare and add your zipper tabs.  Repeat for both ends.

Lay the outer fabric face up.  Line up the zipper on top and center it with the same overhang at either end.  The zipper teeth should be facing the right side of the fabric.  Place the lining on top, face down.  Mark in 2 inches from the edge of the fabric on each side and stitch through all layers between these 2 marks only, securing the zipper in place.

Repeat for the other side of the bag and zipper.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Flatten out your bag with the right sides of the outer fabric together and the right sides of the lining together, and the zipper in the center.  Match up seams and edges carefully and stitch around the perimeter.  Leave a large gap in the side seam of the lining to turn the bag right side out later.

Box the corners of the bag, both the outer and the lining with a 2-inch line across each corner.

Love how good this bag looks, can't believe its home-made. Free pattern.

Turn the bag right sides out and give it a good press.    Press the fabric carefully away from the zipper, front, and back.  Close the gap in the lining by hand or machine.  Push the lining down inside the bag.  In the gaps under the zipper at each end, turn in the raw edges, match up seams, and pin.

Topstitch all the way around the top of the bag, making sure to push the lining down and away from the back of the zipper as you go.  Close the gaps under the zipper.  Add on your cute zipper dangles for a bit of fun.  Give everything a final press and you are done.

zipper top tote

I hope you enjoy your bag as much as I love mine.  Do you have any ‘must-have’ features on bags that you always look out for or add when making your own?


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Silk Painting With Lola Fonseca – A Master In Madrid

Silk Painting With Lola Fonseca – A Master In Madrid


silk painting

After what seems like years, actually it really was years.., of not travelling, I had the fortune to visit Madrid again this summer. My daughter now lives there where she is attending university. Unfortunately, I only had a couple days there and didn’t get a chance to try to track down my old friend Lola Fonseca.

I really hope she is still going. Her studio was wonderful. Sadly, however, Madrid and Spain overall were pretty badly affected by the events of the last few years and many small businesses like Lola’s have simply disappeared.

I decided to republish this article from a couple of years ago since most readers probably haven’t seen it.  If any of our readers are going to be in Madrid in the near future and have the time, could you please let us know how Lola’s going? I really hope you enjoy this article.  I’ll have some other updates from Spain, Paris, and a few other wonderful locations in the coming weeks.


Last summer, my family and I took a much-anticipated trip to Spain.  I had not been back to Spain in more than 15 years.  As you can imagine, my memories of Madrid revolve around leather, fabric, lace, and heavily embroidered shawls and are still very much intact in my mind.

Growing up in Panama, we valued anything coming from the “Mother Land” — Spain.  It gave you a sort of distinction among your peers even if it was only a tourist trinket from some street market.

So Spain holds many important memories for me.  Not the least of which is of my grandmother who was born in Spain.

silk painting

I have many memories of my grandmother.  She always tied her hair back and usually draped a colorful shawl across her shoulders.  She said the shawl came from Spain.  I can still close my eyes and recreate every single stitch of that shawl in my mind. The embroidered roses and the long fringes falling down all the way past her hips.  She was such a lovely lady. She was born in Cadaqués, Spain and married young, to a Colombian.  Together they raised five children of their own and helped fifteen other adopted children reach adulthood.  Her shawl had been passed down from her mother, and in turn, she passed it down to my mother.

So while in Madrid, I was in search of something similar, driven by nostalgia mostly, but what I found was something truly unique.  Lola Fonseca… Perfect name, perfect studio, vibrant, colorful and made of silk!!!! Actually, I did not find it, it was my husband who had spotted it and knowing me well told me about it and encouraged me to go in.

silk painting

Silk was everywhere and in bold colors. All over the walls and tables were huge scarves that could be worn even as sarongs.  This seemed to be a magical oasis of textile arts hidden away on a beautiful side street.

Silk Painting with Lola Fonseca

The art of silk painting was first recorded in China and goes back more than 2000 years.  So it was refreshing to find someone dedicating their life to mastering this lovely art here in Madrid.

The center of the shop held the best part. It was where Lola did her silk painting.  I had never seen silk painting before in person, I had only seen the beautiful results of this wonderful craft.

silk painting
Photo credit: Lola Fonseca

Watching her move the brush across the silk with such ease inspired me to try it out.

silk painting
A work in progress…Lola Fonseca

Making My First Silk Scarf

Lola was very friendly and eager to teach me some of her skills. She started by teaching me how to stretch the scarf on the loom.

silk painting

Once the scarf was stretched she instructed me on to apply a resin so that the paint does not run out to the edge.

In other words, we are framing the work with a water/paint resistant resin to ensure that the paint is contained to where I want it to be.

After we draw the frame it is time to apply the base coat.  I am thinking I want to wear this silk scarf with a little black dress so I will choose some colors to match.

Unsurprisingly, I discovered that silk painting was not as easy as Lola made it look. I quickly realized that you need to move the brush rather fast and without hesitation, so the color does not pool.  You can see below that this happened to me.  It really takes a lot of confidence to paint boldly and smoothly with such a delicate material.

While the base coat is drying I took the opportunity to chat with Lola.  Her scarfs have been selling for over 20 years.  Today her son Claudio  handles most of the general production since these scarves are exported to all over the world.  Of course, she continues to create her own work and sells her personal creations to interested individuals.

Back to the painting, next I painted the frame with black.  I made a little mistake and had to draw something in there to disguise it.  As I mentioned before this craft is not easy, but boy is it rewarding! I was just happy to be there spending the time with Lola and learning this unique technique.

I kept my design pretty simple because I wanted it to be ready for me to take home the same day.  I chose a traditional pattern of flowers and branches.  Like all crafts, a simple design that is well executed is always better than a complicated one executed poorly.  It is important to keep this in mind when learning any new skill, as learning the basics well will set you up for success and further growth.

Lola then showed me a technique for making petals with one brush stroke, but my brush skills were out of practice and I found it a little difficult…

Painting the branches was a lot easier, it was just a matter of positioning them in a balanced way.  Adding a few buds here and there gave the plant some more substance.

To finish the flowers I used some yellow-gold paint dripped onto their center.  I also used the yellow to highlight the brighter petals.

When I finished, Lola told me to sign the scarf.  I realized that Lola and I have much more in common than I would have thought, we both love textiles (as well as romantic movies 🙂  There is no place where I would rather be than right here in this happy studio.

via GIPHY

If you like paint bottles, brushes, and silk, plus the perfect amount of light filtering in and the sounds of steps from the pedestrian street out front — I recommend a visit to this studio.  If you would like to feel the Bohemian vibe of it in the middle of one the most exciting cities in Europe, chatting, painting and drinking coffee… why don’t you come by?

You can find Lola’s Studio in –> Calle Cervantes 20, Madrid.

silk painting
silk painting

Call ahead to book an appointment or drop by to purchase one of her exquisite designs.

tel:+34 913 69 15 43

If you happened to see Lola this summer say hello and give her two kisses on the cheeks from me.

Update:  Today this lovely studio is directed by Lola’s son who is just as talented as his mother.

silk painting
silk painting

Photo Credit:   Claudio Mendez Fonseca 

Until Next Time! Happy Sewing!


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12 Essential Tips for Zero Waste Sewing

12 Essential Tips for Zero Waste Sewing


Recently we created a list of zero-waste sewing projects that was very well received by our readers.  A few people asked for more tips on how to go zero-waste, so we put this list together.

12 Essential Tips For Zero Waste Sewing

People sew for a variety of reasons.  Some do so out of need and some do so simply out of interest. But whether it’s fixing your worn-out clothes, creating new ones, or altering a piece that doesn’t quite fit, we can all agree that reducing your sewing waste is great for both your wallet and the environment.

To follow these tips there are only a few things needed for starters: some needles, a variety of threads, and a pair of scissors.  Here’s a short list of Essential Sewing Tools for Beginners that you might find helpful.

Sewing helps each of us in many different ways. Learning the most basic of it can save us in certain situations. Whatever reason you may have for starting to sew, you should keep in mind that you can finish your sewing tasks quickly when you have only a small or large amount of extra material that can no longer be used.

Tips for Zero Waste Sewing

Tip #1: Ensure that you have the right measurement before you make your final cut.

Be cautious in doing your measurements.  Remember, once you make a cut on your fabric, it can no longer be undone.  Make sure that you only cut the fabric after you have the right measurements so as not to put any material into waste.

As the aphorism goes: ” Measure twice, cut once.”

Tip #2: Let patterns serve as your guide.

In sewing, patterns are your best friend.  From beginners to professionals we all work with them.  Following a well-designed pattern to the letter will ensure you have the least wastage possible. Cutting on the fly and deviating from the pattern can be a big risk and for most sewists, it’s simply not worth it.

 We are all aware that when the pattern of any fabric has been cut, it can no longer be used for bigger sizes. It would be best then to avoid either trimming and cutting the pieces of pattern on the material or choosing the biggest size to cut them.

Should you decide not to cut any part of the fabric, it is suggested to have the pattern paper folded in its edge or the part you need to cut or trace. This could take a lot of time and effort, so to make it more manageable, it would be best to have the pattern cut at its biggest size. For every piece you need to use, it would help if you try to fold each of the pieces at its edge to create smaller sizes.

Tips for Zero Waste Sewing

Tip #3: Piecing

Piecing was a very common method back when the cost of fabrics was very high. It is the process of breaking into smaller pieces a large piece of fabric to ensure that the parts not needed are not wasted.  It likewise involves the process of utilizing the smaller pieces of fabrics in such a way that you maximize the whole material itself since nothing is left for scrap. Piecing ensures that two portions of smaller fabrics are put together to come up with the pattern or shape you need. While piecing is not highly recommended for many kinds of garments, it is handy for projects not used as clothing or display, like lining.

Tip #4: Seam Allowances

Having a lot of scrap material that cannot be used is very common, especially for beginners.  This is because of the allowances created when trimming the fabric in an incorrect way.  As you learn the proper skills in sewing, you will be able to do the correct way of trimming your fabric so as to not leave a lot of unusable scraps.  You don’t need to become a professional sewer to maximize the use of your resources for sewing.  You will soon realize that the extra remaining edges may actually be used still by hand-sewing them.

Tip #5: Secondhand Fabric

Another helpful tip to save on your sewing fabric is to make use of fabrics from projects you have previously done are no longer used. Purchasing materials for smaller sewing projects from thrift stores is definitely a wise choice to make.

Tips #6: Fabric Stash

We are all aware that purchasing more than what you really need is not a good habit at all. This encourages you to be unaware of the materials put to waste since you have more than enough. Not because the fabrics are on sale, then you are pushed to stock up on them. It is wiser to make a plan for the kind of project you want to be sewn and shop only for those kinds of materials.

For some more ideas on organizing your fabric stash, have a read of this:

Tip #7: New Material

You must be very cautious in selecting the quality of the fabric needed for a new project. Take into consideration certain factors such as the fabric’s weave, care guidelines, elasticity, durability, design, and cost. While there may not be a perfect quality for fabric, what is significant is the manner it is produced. Although it may be challenging to select the best kind of fabric, you can pick the right fabric if you consider the purpose for using such fabric and that you handle with proper care the finished project you have come up from it.

Tip #8: Thread

Admit it, most of us are very conscious when choosing the right fabric but thinking about the thread is the very last thing in mind. Yes, it is expected to use the thread you already have than buying a new one. But giving special attention when choosing the kind of thread to use is as essential as selecting the best fabric for your project. Did you know that threads could contain polyesters (mostly in large amounts)? When disposed of, polyesters remain polyesters and will last for a longer period of time than threads with natural fiber. So for future purchases, be conscientious and choose a different fiber, which can be a great help for zero-waste sewing.

Tips #9: Scissors

You can never underestimate how a good pair of scissors can help you benefit from your sewing tasks. Your sewing scissors should be used solely for their purpose and must be taken care of properly to maintain their sharpness. A lot of sewing fabrics are wasted because of dull or poor-quality of scissors. Always choose the best one you can use for the long term.

Tip #10: Save your scraps

Whatever amount or size remains from your fabric, make sure that you have storage to keep them. You will never know when you might need a small piece of fabric, and you can save time and resources when you have your scraps in a single place. You may find it very helpful that these actually recycled materials combined with new materials can last for a valuable length of time. There are several ways to utilize recycled textiles depending on their sizes. Just use your creativity, and you can definitely save a lot.

Tips for Zero Waste Sewing
Fabric breaking down in a compost bin.

Tips #11: Composting

Disposal of old materials should be the last option. There are numerous types of textiles that decompose for as long as six months. This process can actually help our environment with the disposal of waste. You just need to clearly identify if the unused textiles you have can indeed be decomposed. If you are unsure, it is best not to proceed. However, you have to keep in mind that composting should always be your last resort.

Tip #12: Pins and Needles

Obviously, specific sewing materials, including pins and needles, cannot be recycled. In cases when they get broken or are impossible to be used, be careful to dispose of them properly. Never leave them attached to your scrapped or recycled fabrics and materials to avoid anybody from being hurt or having an accident.

I hope you enjoyed these essential tips for zero-waste sewing.  If you have more ideas on how to practice zero waste while sewing please make sure to leave them in the comments below for the other readers.


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Cross My Heart – free easy dress pattern

Cross My Heart – free easy dress pattern


This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

You know sometimes how you look about and everyone seems to be wearing the same thing, the same styles, the same colors?  That’s especially true on a small island where there are only a few places you can buy clothes anyway, so it’s no wonder everyone has the same pieces.  So I set out to make myself a dress.  Something I could wear to dinner, or if I had to go somewhere smart, or heaven-forbid, ever get a job!

I was really liking the Simple Shrug pattern and wanted to see if I could incorporate the idea into a dress because I think it gives a really flattering look by having the fabric fall from the bust, making the waist look smaller – or at least I hope so!  I’m very rectangular through the waist, so anything that draws attention to the bust is a plus for me.

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

The Cross My Heart Dress – This dress has crossover pleated drapes from the shoulders that are caught into the side seams just under the arms.  It creates a modest v-neckline and frames the face, hanging loose from the bust to emphasize the smaller waist.  It’s certainly unique!  I’ll never come across another one like it – unless some of you sew it and then visit the Cayman Islands.  That would make my day!

Plus, it’s a very quick and simple sew.  Bonus!

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

Features:

  • Quick and easy to sew
  • Figure skimming fit
  • Pleated crossover drapes from the shoulders
  • Longer length – pick your own skirt length
  • Center back seam to help get a nice fit
  • Short sleeves
  • Sizes 29- 41 bust, 33-45 inch hips
  • For knit fabrics only – I used a ITY knit  (Read more about different types of knit fabrics here.)
  • Fabric needed for all sizes – 2 yards
This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!
This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

Download the Cross My Heart Dress pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out – its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

How to sew your ‘Cross My Heart’ free easy dress pattern

1/2 inch seam allowances throughout unless stated otherwise.

Cut out your pattern pieces on a double layer of fabric, with the front on the fold.

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Turn a narrow 1/4 inch hem on the top and bottom curved edges of the front drapes and stitch close to the edge.  Press. Set aside.

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Optional – add a piece of tricot interfacing to the center front to reinforce the V at the neckline.

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Add a 1/4 inch snip at center front and then turn a narrow hem up each side of the center front and stitch close to the edge.  Press.

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Join the center back seam. Turn down the back neckline in a smooth curve and stitch.  Press.

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Add the front drapes to the shoulders.  Line up the inside seamed edges, then line up the outer edge of the drape 1/2 inch inside the outer edge of the shoulder.  This 1/2 inch is the seam allowance where the sleeve will be sewn.

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Create 3 even pleats in the fabric and pin them in place.

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Place the dress back over the front, RST, and match the shoulders.  Repin through all layers and pleats.  Stitch through all layers.  Reduce the bulk in the seam by trimming the pleated layer.  Press the completed seam towards the back.

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Repeat for the other shoulder.

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Match the center top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam.  Ease in sleeve, pin, and stitch. Take care NOT to catch the fabric from the front drape in the sleeve seam allowance.  It should only be caught at the shoulder seam. Repeat for the other side.

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Take the front drapes across the front of the dress, taking care not to twist them, and pin into the side seams matching the top of the drape at the point under the arm.

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Baste the drapes into the side seam of the dress front, within the seam allowance.

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Pin the side seams and check for fit.  Make alterations as necessary.

Pin and stitch side seams.  Press.

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Finish the bottom of the sleeves – twin needle finish is optional.  You may also simply turn in a 1/2-inch hem and stitch.

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Check for length and finish the bottom hemline with your favorite finish.

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Give the dress a final press and it’s ready to wear.

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

Download the Cross My Heart Dress pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out – its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

Pin Me
This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

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Sewing Tips and Tricks: 120+ of our best ideas

Sewing Tips and Tricks: 120+ of our best ideas


Sewing Tips

When it comes to sewing tips and tricks…there’s no shortage of resources. Indeed, when we Google a basic question concerning a sewing machine attachment we’ve just purchased or a new technique we need to master before we can complete our next project, sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed by choices.

However, it makes a big difference to have all those Sewing Tips provided by a source you know you can trust, collected and set out in a manner that’s logical and easy to make use of. That’s exactly the reason why we decided to put together this handy list of Sewing Tips and Tricks.

I’m talking about everything you’ll need as a beginner or anything short of a seasoned expert (and even then!). From understanding your machine to time saving hacks which every budding seamstress ought to be aware of!

Sewing Tips – Fabric

In everything from preparation to eventual garment care, the needs of different types of fabrics vary drastically. I’m sure many of the beginners out there have made the mistake of rushing headlong into a project, without adequately researching the special needs of the exotic fabric they are attempting to incorporate. Keep yourself informed and prepared with these handy Fabric Specific Sewing Tips!

Sewing Tips – Sewing Machines & Accessories

Many of us draw a blank when faced with any kind of mechanical device…even if it’s an integral part of our sewing lives, like our sewing machine or one of it’s many wonderful accessories. Take these Sewing Tips all about Machines and Machine Accessories as proof that you’re not alone in your confusion, we all start out with the same questions…it’s only a matter of time before you can consider yourself an expert machinist!

Sewing Tips – Tools

There are so many handy tools, accessories and nifty gadgets which are specifically made to save you blood, sweat, tears and frustration! It’s about time you learn what tools you need, what’s available and most importantly, what in the world they’re for. I hope you enjoy our Sewing Tips all about Sewing Tools!

Sewing Tips – Quilting

Such a fulfilling pastime for anyone with a real love for sewing and an urge to create artistic items full of time, love and care! Yet  quilting is no simple affair and as much as some of us want to make a go of it, the ins and outs can seem a little daunting. Never fear…you’ll find all your handy Sewing Tips for beginners in Quilting right here!

Sewing Tips – Saving Time and Money

Now, some of us may consider Sewing Tips designed to save us time and money as something of a Holy Grail. Sewing is a time consuming pursuit and at times it can prove rather costly but we manage to balance it with home life, kids, even work…that’s largely thanks to our knowledge of Time and Money Saving Tips and Tricks!

 Sewing Tips – Patterns and Techniques

A basic knowledge of pattern making and usage, as well as a knowledge of standard sewing techniques, is absolutely vital for anyone who want’s to make their own! Whether you want to design your own items or simply follow the designs of others, these Sewing Tips and Tricks about Patterns and Techniques ought to be up there on your need-to-know list!


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How to Refashion a Scarf into a Top or Bikini Cover

How to Refashion a Scarf into a Top or Bikini Cover


scarf refashioned

There is nothing like going on a trip to point out the gaps in my wardrobe… I often can’t figure out the right things to pack without taking the entire closet with me.  What I need is something practical that can be worn on many occasions.  Something that is chic yet casual.  I thought I could use a top that could be transformed into a short dress or a swimsuit cover.

I dug into my wardrobe and found one Pashmina that I got ages ago and hardly ever wear even though I get cold easily.  I guess I find it rather large and since it is a gift from my daughter, I still want to treasure it.  So how to turn a scarf into a top that I will actually wear?  I did not want to drape it on me because that would add bulk to an already bulky frame if you know what I mean…  So if you have a spare scarf and 30 minutes this is the scarf refashion tutorial for you.

Materials:

  • You will need a scarf that is 6-7 feet long, and 20 to 30″ wide.  Silk, voile, cashmere or wool would be ideal.  (You can find Pashminas and other suitable scarfs at Miracle Shine.  They ship worldwide and their selection is divine.)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 yards of Wrights Double Fold 1/2″ bias tape.  (Find a color that complements your scarf or see below to make your own.)
  • sewing thread to match your bias tape
  • clothes iron
  • a sewing machine
  • a belt, decorative rope or another scarf to use around your waistscarf refashioned

Step One: Preparing your scarf

Fold your scarf in two leaving 4-6 inches longer on one side.  The longer side will become the back and the shorter side the front. Pin the top so it doesn’t move when you are cutting the middle to make the neckline.

Step Two: Cutting the neckline

scarf refashioned

Take the shorter side and cut in the middle.  Measure the length of this cut on both sides.  This measurement will determine the amount of bias tape you will need.  I used 2  1/2 yards.

Follow this tutorial for information on how to make your own bias tape:

Read More HERE

And follow this tutorial to learn more about attaching bias tape:

Read More HERE

Step Three: Sewing the decorative bias tapescarf refashioned

Pin your bias tape all around the raw edge you just created, making sure you have enough bias tape because you are both adding a decorative detail and finishing the edges. Fold the tape, iron, and pin in place. Sew again making sure both sides are very neat.scarf refashioned

scarf refashioned

Step Four: Making The Tunnelscarf refashioned

Take the longer side of the scarf and measure from the middle of the bias tape, where your neck will be to your waist.  Mark this measurement fold 1 1/2 to 3″ inches and sew.

I have a short torso, so I am folding at 13″ in length, the average measurement is 15″ and 16″ for a tall girl.  This step will become the back of your top where you will feed the belt or whatever you are using to tie around your waist. I have used the 3″ fold which is easier to feed a scarf through as a belt.  scarf refashioned

scarf refashionedscarf refashionedI have chosen to use another thin scarf as the belt since I can also use it to tie my hair;)scarf refashionedA point worth noting is how the top changes if you leave the belt tunnel in the inside, as above.scarf refashionedOr on the outside. scarf refashionedscarf refashioned

Choosing a beautiful print and a luxurious material will make this top a fantastic gift for mother’s day or an excellent addition to your boutique.  Wear it with your bikini or pair it with a pencil skirt, shorts or capri pants and in a matter of minutes, you can go from the beach to your favorite cafe.

I hope you enjoyed this scarf refashioning tutorial and find it a practical use for your unused big scarfs while adding a chic, new item to your wardrobe.


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